Monday, April 25, 2011

Roberto Capucci Exhibit- Philadelphia Museum of Art


I started sewing at an early age. There was an old chest in our attic filed with a variety of fabric remnants and old tin boxes filled with vintage buttons, ribbon, trims and lace. Some items were salvaged from old clothes to be used again or they were the remainders of sewing projects from an earlier time. This was a treasure trove to me- a seemingly endless supply of sewing projects.

By my teens I was into a sewing frenzy and had worked my way through the family fabric stash. Around this time my Great Aunt who was an excellent sewer, took notice and began giving me incredible vintage fabrics, old patterns, trims (and amazing vintage clothing) that she had bought and never used.  My interest in fabrics, clothing design and construction has not waned. 

Pictured are two vintage items from my Great Aunt that are now in the Philadelphia Art Museum Costume Collection.
From my Great Aunt's collection. Shoes from Strawbridge and Clothier. Ca 1920's  
Horesehair braid hat ca. 1925.
Currently on view at The Philadelphia Museum of Art is  Roberto Capucci: Art Into Fashion curated by Dilys E. Blum. It is the first survey of his work in the United States. I admit that I had never heard of this designer before. The exhibit was very enjoyable and inspiring. His passion for his work is evident and affirms for me the importance of not compromising your creative vision.

The show is complete with pieces spanning five decades beginning with the post World War II era. It begins with very wearable Haute Couture pieces from the 50’s and 60’s. Slowly one can see his progression to clothing that is more sculptural with an emphasis on volume, form and color. Large sketches accompany some of the designs. All of the clothing is on mannequins and placed to allow for close inspection, which is critical since the fabrics, colors and construction details are what make this exhibition so special. The photos reproduced here are from the exhibiton publication Roberto Capucci:Art Into Fashion by Dilys E. Blum of The Philadelphia Art Museum. 

Roberto Capucci:Art Into Fashion. Philadelphia Art Museum

Roberto Capucci:Art Into Fashion. Philadelphia Art Museum
Roberto Capucci:Art Into Fashion. Philadelphia Art Museum

Beading with genuine turquoise.
Roberto Capucci:Art Into Fashion. Philadelphia Art Museum


Roberto Capucci:Art Into Fashion. Philadelphia Art Museum



Roberto Capucci:Art Into Fashion. Philadelphia Art Museum